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Oracle lowers credit line for PeopleSoft merger

Oracle decreases the amount of its credit line needed to acquire PeopleSoft in its takeover bid. The move is based on Oracle's sizable war chest of $8.1 billion in cash and securities.

Oracle has lowered the amount of the credit line it can tap to acquire PeopleSoft from $5 billion to $1.5 billion, an Oracle spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The software giant had lined up the $5 billion revolving, unsecured credit line when it announced its hostile bid in June.

"We lowered the amount on hand with the investment bankers because we have so much cash on our balance sheet," said Deborah Lilienthal, an Oracle spokeswoman. "The offer remains fully funded and not subject to any financing considerations."

Oracle, which had $8.1 billion in cash and short-term securities as of Nov. 30, needs $7.5 billion to acquire all PeopleSoft shares, based on its cash offer of $19.50 a share.

The software giant wanted to lower the cost of borrowing money to help fund the deal, Lilienthal noted.

As of Nov. 30, Oracle had spent $33.4 million, including the cost of maintaining the $5 billion line of credit, on its effort to acquire PeopleSoft, it disclosed in a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Although Oracle is lowering its credit line, PeopleSoft investors may be expecting the software giant to shell out more money for its offer, since PeopleSoft shares closed at $22.47 Monday.

Oracle is awaiting word from federal antitrust regulators on whether they will block or approve the takeover. The U.S. Department of Justice is facing a deadline to make a decision by the first week of January. However, Oracle could extend the deadline. Such discussions were underway in late December, according to Oracle.